SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 29, 2020 — Drury University plans to hold classes in person on its campus this fall, just as it has for the last 146 years.
“We will continue to fulfill our mission of educating students and transforming lives here on campus as the semester begins in August,” says Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd. “While it may look and feel a little different due to any necessary social distancing measures, one thing that will not change is our dual commitment to student success and well-being.”
Drury currently has teams in place to closely examine the issues surrounding re-opening on the scheduled date of August 24. These teams will consider a range of options in order to make sound recommendations based on both the university’s unique needs and strengths as well any and all health and safety guidelines local officials have in place at the time.
A team of Drury faculty members are exploring potential modifications to teaching and classroom environments to ensure student health and well-being is at the forefront of course delivery. Drury’s already small class sizes enable flexibility and options for social distancing while offering in-person classes. The university will lean on the same spirit of innovation and creativity among faculty that gave rise to the Your Drury Fusion curriculum just last year in order to safely and effectively teach next fall.
“Our size and scale allows us to be nimble and formulate ideas and plans that will meet the needs of our students without compromising the integrity of Drury’s high-engagement classroom experience,” says Provost Dr. Beth Harville, the university’s top academic officer. “As always at Drury, it will not be a one-size-fits-all approach. There are likely to be customized solutions in each discipline, from the sciences to the arts to the humanities.”
A Student Health and Public Safety Committee is also carefully considering changes to campus operations in order to ensure a safe and high-quality residential student life experience. This may include increasing the number of single occupancy rooms in campus housing to promote social distancing, as well as adjustments to food service delivery and social events.
Drury facilities staff has already instituted a thorough and ongoing sanitization effort in all public spaces across campus, and that work will continue as the next academic year gets underway.
“While the current situation presents a challenge for every college and university in the country, Drury is in a unique position to meet this challenge,” says Cloyd. “Our institution has long focused on small, seminar-style classes rather than filling large lecture halls. Our faculty have a fierce commitment to innovative teaching and mentorship. And above all, our campus thrives on a spirit of community that’s strong enough to transcend any amount of social distancing.”